The Podcast of the Religion and Socialism Commission of the Democratic Socialists of America
Beat Swords Into Plowshares - a Conversation with Mark Colville
Seven Catholic plowshares activists entered Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia on April 4th, 2018. They went to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares.” The seven chose to act on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to addressing what he called the “triple evils of militarism, racism, and materialism.” Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to convert weapons of mass destruction. They hoped to call attention to the ways in which nuclear weapons kill every day, by their mere existence and maintenance.
One of those seven, Mark Colville (pictured back right), talks with Colleen Shaddox about his resistance to the weapons economy and his life at Amistad Catholic Worker House in New Haven, Connecticut. Mark talks about how he and his comrades argued that their Catholic faith compelled them to act against Trident - a defense that the jury was never allowed to hear. Now he looks forward to serving his sentence for the action. As he says, much of the Bible was written inside a prison - what better place to read it?
Capitalism as Modern Religion - A Conversation with Dr. Eugene McCarraher
Do we live in a secular age? Is capitalism a religion? In this episode, Stephen Crouch asks author and professor Eugene McCarraher about the "misenchanted" qualities of capitalist society. Dr. McCarraher is the author of the 800-page tome entitled, Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity (2019). During the episode, Dr. McCarraher discusses the shortcomings of Marxism and the Protestant work ethic, and suggests a better path forward through the anti-capitalist Romantic tradition with its "enchanted" view of the world.
Dr. Eugene McCarraher is a Professor of Humanities and History at Villanova University and the author of Christian Critics: Religion and the Impasse in Modern American Social Thought. He has written for Dissent and The Nation and contributes regularly to Commonweal, The Hedgehog Review, and Raritan. His recent work, The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity, was supported by fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies.
Compassion in Action: A Conversation about Buddhism and Socialism
This episode of Heart of a Heartless World features Travis Donoho and Jeremy McMahan. Travis is a professional labor union organizer and member of Thich Nhat Hahn's Order of Interbeing Sangha. Jeremy is the producer of this podcast and a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and scholar. They discuss the relationship between socialism and Buddhism, how self care is essential for labor organizing, and why a lot of American Buddhists don't identify as socialists.
Ballad of an America: What does Paul Robeson's Life Teach Us?
On Tuesday, February 16th, Charles Howard, University Chaplain and Vice President for Social Equity and Community at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke with Lawrence Ware, co-editor of "Ballad of an American," the first-ever graphic biography of Paul Robeson, about Robeson's relevance for today.
Paul Robeson was the pre-eminent Black, left-wing figure of U.S. popular culture during the 1930s-40s. Concert singer, film actor, public personality, his "Ballad for Americans" was heard by millions of radio listeners. Idolized across large parts of Europe, his records heard widely in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, Robeson was struck down by McCarthyism. His legend and his lessons remain.
The event was co-sponsored by the Afrosocialists and Socialists of Color Caucus (AFROSOC) of DSA, the DSA Fund, and the International Committee of DSA, along with the Religion and Socialism Working Group of DSA.
You can order the book from Rutgers University Press and receive a 30% discount on it and all books sitewide by using the code DSA RUP at checkout.
Labor Rights and the American Catholic Church
Matt Mazewski and Brendan Moore, both economics doctoral candidates and labor organizers, join “Heart of a Heartless World” to discuss the relationship between labor rights and the American Catholic Church. Matt and Brendan are interviewed by Nicole-Ann Lobo, and their conversation includes a brief history of Catholic social teaching and what papal encyclicals have to say about labor rights, the current state of American bishops and labor, the role of the Catholic Labor Network, and how Catholic higher education instutions are treating graduate student unions.
Fratelli tutti Challenges the Utopia of Neoliberalism — https://christiansocialism.com/pope-francis-fratelli-tutti-socialism-capitalism/
The Catholic Labor Network — catholiclabor.org
Gaudium et Spes Labor Report — http://catholiclabor.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/GESAnnualReport2020.pdf
The NLRB’s Theology of Labor — https://www.thestrikewave.com/original-content/religion-and-the-nlrb
U.S. Bishops praise Biden’s actions on immigration — https://www.catholicsentinel.org/Content/Default/Homepage-Rotator/Article/US-bishops-praise-Biden-s-actions-on-immigration-/-3/382/41722
USCCB brief on Janus case — https://www.usccb.org/sites/default/files/about/general-counsel/amicus-briefs/upload/Janus-v-American-Federation-of-State-16-1466-bsac-usccb-amicus.pdf
Black Radical Traditions
The spirit of black radical traditions, at their best, can turn the world upside down and help usher in a political economy of dignity, voice, and decision-making power for working-class communities. Liberationist streams of black radical spirituality are as contemporary as Alice Walker’s call for democratic socialist womanism, as old as Reverend George Washington Woodbey’s Black Baptist socialism and beyond.
This discussion between Rev. Andrew Wilkes and Rev. Sekou, artist, author, and public theologian, is part of an ongoing series on faith and socialism. In this conversation, Rev. Wilkes and Rev. Sekou talk about the ethical and religious streams within black radical traditions and the implications for our times
I love it
I'm an atheist, but I've always been interested in religion and theology. This podcast really makes me examine my own beliefs, and I aprreciate it for that.
A voice for an often-ignored intersection
For many Americans, religiosity is equivalent to conservative politics and leftism is practiced secularly. I love that this podcast breaks that dichotomy and looks at people who live in that intersection. The Religious Left is small, but offers an important perspective on the liberation of all marginalized people. Jesus was a socialist!
Could be great but needs focus
If you’re looking for a discussion of LGB issues among fiscally liberal people of faith, then this podcast is for you. By getting in the weeds with peripheral social issues, verging on grievance studies at times, this otherwise important discussion of the linkages between faith and democratic socialism will be made unapproachable to most. Given the prospective content suggested by the title, this podcast should work for me, and yet it doesn’t.